“I have nothing to say”… “HRD killer” withdraws on first day of appeal hearing

“I do not wish to attend the debates”… Considering that he had “nothing to say”, Gabriel Fortin asked on Monday, on the first day of his appeal trial before the Isère Assize Court, not to not appear. The man nicknamed the “DHR killer” refused to comment on the facts with which he is accused, leaving the civil parties in disarray.

Dressed in black, shaved head and slightly overweight, the accused, whose presence was uncertain, finally entered the glass box shortly after 2 p.m. He must be tried until May 29 for three assassinations and an assassination attempt at the end of a bloody journey that took him to Alsace, Drôme and Ardèche. But he only stayed in the courtroom for barely an hour and a half.

The jury draw had just finished, Gabriel Fortin suddenly asked to speak to declare that he did not wish to “neither attend the debates” nor “come to this chamber”. “I want to leave the building and not return in the coming days,” he says.

“It’s too easy to hide like a coward”

For Jean-Luc Pasquion, widower of one of the victims, if the accused withdraws, it is because he is “cowardly” and does not dare “to confront his victims”. “A guy like that, if he comes out, he’ll do the same thing again. So crazy or not, we must confirm the sentence,” he believes.

A trial in such conditions “is not fair for the civil parties”, underlines Mr. Alain Jakubowicz, representative of Pôle emploi. “It’s too easy to hide like a coward! », he says to the audience.

“I would prefer that he was there and could at least listen if not hear the voice of the victims,” adds Bernard Simier, for the public prosecutor. “The court will arbitrate tomorrow and possibly on other days,” the president of the court replied.

Already silent at first instance

Tried at first instance in Valence, Gabriel Fortin, 49, was sentenced in June 2023 to life imprisonment, accompanied by a security measure of 22 years. He immediately appealed this verdict.

Already at the time, he had refused to explain his actions, again declaring that he had “nothing to say”.

A new psychiatric assessment has since been carried out, according to the president of the court, and his mental health will be one of the issues in the trial.

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